We Were All Immigrants, Eh!
A Social History of Canada and it's People
"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?"
Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Senator, ca. 50 B.C
From the time that the ice began to recede and the surface of  North America was formed, humans began to arrive and settle in this part of the world.  They followed herds of big game from Siberia, across the Bering Strait, and into Alaska about 11,500 years ago.  From there they fanned out across the land to become the founding populations of today's 'First Nations'. 
A 10,600 year old campsite was discovered at Debert, Nova Scotia, which showed that the early inhabitants, fished, hunted and butchered meat, even while small ice caps remained nearby.  Debert appears to have been a favorite place to intercept migrating herds of caribou, and though the camps would have been seasonal, the sophistication of the tools uncovered, show that they would have had the technology to exploit a wide range of land and marine life.  Distinctive were the triangular bladed spearpoints, fastened to a handle or spear shaft, a trademark of Paleoindian or Paleoamerican cultures from Alaska to South America.
On the northeastern coast of Prince Edward Island, archaeologists have also uncovered an early campsite believed to be 9,000-10,000 years old, which yielded many of the stone implements associated with the Debert people.  Further to the north, along the Labrador coast and Quebec, similar finds, at possibly sea mammal hunting sites, have been dated back to between 8,000 and 9,000 years.

These people were amoung the first Canadians, occupying this country
for thousands of years before any of our European ancestors arrived, but why have their contributions gone unnoticed by most of what we now think of as Canadians?  We pride ourselves on our diversity, and yet our known history, and the history taught to our children, is extremely one-dimensional.
Canada did not begin with Confederation, and while my knowledge may be limited, I feel that everyone who has ever come, saw and conquered, this often difficult terrain and climate, has left a lasting impression on our Canadian culture.  Therefore, my work does not begin with Confederation but ends with our way of life up to and including the Victorian Era, when the journey of Canadians began on it's present course.

I could never hope to rewrite history, but hopefully you will find something on this site that you may not have known before, or only thought you knew, and will have a  renewed appreciation of what it really means to be a CANADIAN.
Indian Camp, New Brunswick
By: William Robert Herries
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
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